I wasn't very happy with my family last night. I wanted us all to spend some quality time together. We got pizza and I had Jason hang the all-occassion party banner. I even allowed eating in the living room; the perfect set-up for family comradery.
Instead what happened was, after scarfing down pizza, each kid retreated to their own room. So I started several conversations with Jason whose response to everything I said was "Hmmm?" ( I believe a "Matrix" marathon was on).
I cordially invited two of them to go on a walk with me. They each declined without hesitation. How dare they not want to do what I want.
So I walked.
I was stuck with the never desired companion; loneliness.
Loneliness visits every now and then. Searching for distraction from this unwanted friend, I pulled out my phone so that my Facebook friends could tell me about their day. Blast!No battery. Downcast and alone I walked.
I'm almost certain that every person suffers from loneliness at times. Loneliness doesn't necessarily mean that you are alone, but that you feel alone. True loneliness stems from an emptiness in a deep place.
Loneliness is the void where we find no match.
Chances are you've played Old Maid before. The object of the game is to find the match to the cards in your hand. The loser of the game is the one who holds the Old Maid at game's end; the card with no match.
With companionship we respect differences, but we seek ways in which we match.
We gravitate toward people who know and understand us.
Think of all the support groups that exist based on people who are suffering similarly. Likewise, I remember many times smiling at the simple observance of a parent who suffers a child pulling a stunt similar to what one of my kids have pulled before.
And oh how we love to be with others who share our love and excitement for similar things.
Still, often we feel alone for a reason we can't quite put our finger on. We long for someone who will fill that void.
In 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah has dutifully spread God's message and in return, his life has been threatened. After being visited twice by an angel of the Lord, he still feels dejected and alone saying "I am the only one left.." He has spent time alone in the wilderness, but it is in the cave that the LORD comes to him in a still small whisper. I find it thrilling that it is when he hears God whisper he exits the cave. The LORD also reminds him that there are seven thousand reserved who are like him who have not bowed down to Baal.
There is no Old Maid card in the game of life. We are surrounded with those "like us" who share in our joys and in our suffering; take comfort in that. But when the deepest part of your soul calls out for its companion, don't look around-look up.
Yesterday when walking, the most gentle breeze swept over me; a breeze I may not have even noticed had I been walking with someone else. That breeze reminded me,
that I am loved by many,
I have a God who understands EVERY part of me,
and that I am never alone.